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Vacation on the wallpaper: Wanderlust woes? Decor to the rescue of armchair travellers

If your actual travel plans are on hold, you can soothe your wanderlust with a few home decor change-ups or additions. Whether you’re wishing you were at a wilderness cabin, the beach or an exotic passport destination, designers and retailers are offering clever ways to bring the world into your quarantined home space.

Vacation on the wallpaper: Wanderlust woes? Decor to the rescue of armchair travellers


Can’t stroll the real streets of Italy? You can clad floors or walls in a kitchen, bath or family room with a surfacing that evokes that feel. Italy’s ABK offers the Nuovi Mondi capsule collection of large-format ceramic tiles digitally printed with painterly landscapes and whimsical illusory elements like tightrope walkers, bicyclists and playful children. Termed “ceramic wallpaper,” its scenes include cityscapes of Rome and Venice.

Another Italian tile maker, Refin, offers Risseu, a collection of porcelain stoneware tiles inspired by Genoa’s historic, cobbled courtyards and city gardens. Alessandra Wood, VP of style at the online interior-design platform Modsy, says you can evoke the feel of your favourite coastal getaway through some well-chosen prints and materials. “Look for pieces that have a tropical vibe via foliage, like palms, as well as natural raw wood or rattan textures, and fun global prints,” she says. “Incorporate prints and objects that depict shells and sea life.” Lamps Plus, Lightology and Burke Decor have table lamps with resin bases crafted like pieces of coral.

Missing your favourite beach-combing spot? Small touches, like changing the lighting or choosing new cabinet pulls, may be just the ticket. “Beach destinations have been an inspiration for my design style,” says interior designer Jeffrey Alan Marks in Santa Monica. “My favourite place is Malibu; I just love walking the beach and experiencing the ocean atmosphere.” He’s recreated the vibe with a pendant fixture that’s part of his Point Dume collection for Progress Lighting; tiers of blue-toned, galvanised metal are inspired by lapping waves and the industrial materials found on the pier.

Get a few of CB2’s polished sandstone and agate stone doorknobs, or Wayfair’s knobs made of ocean-washed pebbles gathered in New England, and every time you open a cabinet you’ll be reminded of shoreline walks. Or opt for a set of Two’s Company’s remarkably realistic sea-glass plates, fashioned in the shape of oyster and clam shells, at Burke Decor.

New York textile design studio Eskaye l has a new pattern called Out East; founder Shanan Campanaro’s watercolour toile paintings were drawn from photos of the Hamptons sourced through interior design firm Curious Yellow. Montauk landmarks like the lighthouse and clam bar, Sag Harbor’s windmill and theater, and Sagaponack’s vineyards and stables are among the images. The collection is available as both wall covering and fabric.

Got a million destination photos on your phone or computer? Consider making a coffee table book — perhaps as a gift for a wistful fellow traveller. Chatbooks and Parabo Press are two options.

Parabo will also turn a favourite scenic shot into a square, large-format print, canvas or framed work. Have it turned into a mural at Murals Your Way. Or consider having the photo printed on ceramic tiles at ImageSnap; choose from tiny 2-square-inch versions or larger 1-square-foot ones.

Want something more painterly? Various artists on will transform your travel photo into a wall-worthy acrylic or watercolour original painting. If armchair travel is the way we’ll be going for awhile, keeping that last great adventure fresh in mind may be only a decor order away.

Associated Press

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